notebook, pda, pocketsurfer or something else?

  holly74uk 14:14 07 Feb 09

i am confused! sorry if this is long winded, but i really know very little about all this stuff...

ok i currently use a laptop at home but i want a small device to take with me as i travel around the uk. i only want to be able to check emails and surf the web while i am away, just basic stuff.

i want to be able to use it anywhere regardless of whether or not the hotel/area has wifi, so i guess that means i need a device that uses the mobile phone networks to connect to the internet.

however i dont want a contract with a mobile phone company because i wont be travelling often enough to justify the monthy expense. i would rather buy top ups as and when i need them.

i have been looking at the datawind pocketsurfer because there is no contract and you get 20 hours on surfing per month included in the cost of the device. however the screen colours seem very dim and you have to scroll up/down etc to see the full screen.

i guess the next best thing would be a notebook?

but do i have to get one with windows on it to be able to connect via the mobile networks to get online? the linux ones are cheaper but if i cant get onto the mobile network it wouldnt be any good for me.

can pda's work in the same way? ie, connect to the internet via topping up with a mobile network scheme? i dont know anything about them.

are there any other alternatives i shoud consider?

any advice would be greatly appreciated! thanks

  The Brigadier 16:29 07 Feb 09

Go for a small 12" notebook.
Have a look at your local staples who are still having a sale on!

  DieSse 16:51 07 Feb 09

"but do i have to get one with windows on it to be able to connect via the mobile networks to get online?"

No - you can do it with linux. I have a friend who has done exactly that on a linux laptop.

It may right now be a tad more complicated, but that will change as netbooks become more and more used, and as laptops all get "instant-on" linux built-in to the hardware.

I use an 8" elonex netbook (cost £119) - it does all you're asking for, and is the size of a paperback book. 3 usb slots, built in wi-fi - and headphone sockets. I don't use it with a mobile telefone widget - but I could if I needed to. Add a 4GB USB stick for copying data to your main system, and away you go.

Similar (faster and better) available at higher prices, as ever.

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